The secret is to design your garden from the inside out or better still, from the seed catalog out. Gather the family around the table, open a convenient seed catalog and decide what everyone likes. Arugula? No takers, no garden space required. Asparagus? Yay! And if everyone loves beans will one variety be enough or do Lima's, greenies, wax and a shelling bean all make the list? Everyone loves corn but do you want an early AND a late variety, to please all the raccoons all the time?
Potatoes and onions and squash on the list? Are you planning to eat just what ripens as it ripens or are you going to save and store those spuds, onions and warty blue Hubbards? Lets go back to the beans, are you going to try canning?
That garden just grows by leaps and bounds, doesn't it?
Be of good cheer, you don't have to plant everything the first season. It would be too much work and you have too much yet to learn. It wouldn't be enjoyable or productive and you might sour on what can be a wonderful experience and that would be too bad.
But you can build the fence to size, that way you won't have to keep extending it. If you are in deer country that fence should be at least 8' in height.
When calculating the interior space remember you are not merely calculating the actual planting area, you also need to include plenty of space to walk, possibly to push a wheel barrow through. Here at the shed we initially left 18" wide walkways. What a nightmare! No room to bend down and work the beds without a zucchini up the gagootz.*
Now we have no walkways under 36" and it is a pleasure to work in the beds.
You will find it useful to a have a two foot bed running all around the inside of the fence, the fence is an excellent trellis for cucumbers, beans, small squash and the like.
Keep in mind that 4' is about the maximum width for a raised bed. Wider, and they become difficult to work in comfortably.
Can you incorporate a shed into the north side of the fence? Wonderful!
How about running water and power as well? Terrific accessories all but perhaps you need to wait a bit to see how much you enjoy gardening first.
And there you have it, a few simple tips to help you lay out your first garden. Thanks for visiting Farm Girl's Corner.
*Kind of like bending over when Uncle Mac is nearby.